It's been said many times that prospects must feel they can trust you before they will buy from you. But what does "trust you" really mean? It's simple. Prospects need to know you and your company will do exactly what you tell them you will do, when you said you will do it.

Every time you fulfill a commitment, you build trust. Every time you break a commitment, however, you lose trust. In fact, you do more damage than if you never made the promise in the first place. Sometimes, it's what sales people think are the insignificant events that happen before the sales process even starts, that will make you lose enough of the prospect's trust to ensure that you will never sell them anything in the future.

For example, a sales rep who was trying to sell me a service left me a voice mail. I returned his message within 5 minutes, but he didn't call me back for over a week. I thought, "If this is the response I get when he is trying to win me as a customer, what kind of service can I expect once he has me as a customer." Needless to say, he did not manage to book the appointment once he finally got around to calling me back.

Another sales rep called to follow up on an email I had sent to his company inquiring about their services. I checked my sent items folder only to find that I had sent the email over 3 weeks ago. Regardless of whether he had just received my email from his marketing department that day, or that he had just decided to follow up on it now is irrelevant. Either way, my first impression is that they will not respond to customer inquiries in a timely fashion, and they lost the opportunity to do business with me ever in the future.

Last week, four sales "professionals" did not call when they said they were going to for their telephone appointments. And this is after each of them initiated the sales process with me!

Sales people believe that the sale stops when the contracts are signed. But customers believe this is when the sale is just beginning! If you give them reason to doubt that you will actually do what you promise you will once you have them as customer, sometimes no matter how valid the reason, they simply will not buy from you!

Every time you don't return a prospect's inquiry in a timely fashion, you lose trust. Every time you are a no show or are late for an appointment, you lose trust! Every time you do not meet a promised deadline, you lose trust.

If you over promise and under deliver, you lose trust. Lose enough trust, and you lose sales. The worst part is, you were the cause!

Aim Higher!

Author's Bio: 

Susan A. Enns is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections, the online sales training website with free sales resources, a specialized sales job board and free resume listing services dedicated only to business to business sales professionals. She has a proven track record of success, with over 22 years of direct sales, management and executive level business to business experience. Her accomplishments include being the top sales rep in Canada, managing the top sales branch, and achieving outstanding sales growth in a national channel sales organization. She has written the downloadable e-courses “Action Plan For Sales Success” and “Action Plan For Sales Management Success”, as well as many automated sales tools, and as the B2B Sales Coach, she writes and edits the company’s newsletter, AIM HIGHER. Currently Susan serves on the Leadership Executive of the Sales Professionals of Ottawa as Vice President. For more information, visit